Real Madrid have reportedly set their sights on Sassuolo and Italy midfielder Manuel Locatelli, who is expected to cost €50-€60 million this summer.
According to a report from Spanish publication Fichajes, Real Madrid have learnt how much it will cost them to sign Sassuolo’s midfield mainstay Manuel Locatelli in the ongoing transfer window.
Locatelli came through the youth ranks at AC Milan and moved to Sassuolo in the summer of 2018 in search of regular game-time. Having initially joined on loan, the 23-year-old midfielder’s transfer was made permanent a year later. During his time with the Neroverdi, Locatelli has developed into one of the most consistent performers in his position in Serie A.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a particularly impressive 2020/21 campaign that was followed by some top showings in the UEFA Euro 2020 with Italy, especially in the group stages, which have now put him on the radars of several top clubs across Europe. Arsenal have been pushing hard for his signing this summer, while Juventus are also keen whereas Real Madrid are also making their presence felt in the race now.
Real Madrid’s interest in Locatelli does not come as much of a surprise considering that the Merengues are in serious need of bolstering their midfield unit this summer. Indeed, Luka Modric is in the final leg of his career while Toni Kroos will also need to be managed carefully now that he is into his thirties. In addition, the likes of Isco and Dani Ceballos are staring at the exit doors of the Bernabeu.
Along with that, a major issue for Real Madrid, over the years, has been the lack of cover for anchorman Casemiro, who is also closing in on his thirties. As a result, Los Blancos have been linked with a plethora of midfielders this summer, but someone like Locatelli, who can play along with the Brazilian, or even cover for him as the No. 6, would be a solid addition to the ranks.
Sassuolo, for their part, seem open to offloading their prized midfielder this summer. And, even though his market value currently is said to be around €35 million, the Serie A giants are demanding a transfer fee in the range of €50-€60 million for the 23-year-old – that is €20 million more than what they were asking for him prior to his triumph at the UEFA Euro 2020 with Italy.
Real Madrid, given their financial situation, might find it hard to splash that sum, especially as Florentino Perez continues to push for Kylian Mbappe’s signing this summer. So, it remains to be seen if Los Blancos decide to firm up their interest in Locatelli or explore other, more financially feasible options like Brazil’s Copa America hero, Lucas Paqueta.